It’s Not All Mary Poppins

It’s not the scissors…

scissors“These scissors don’t work!”

They sure don’t appear to. After ten minutes of unceasing efforts — give the boy points for persistance — the piece of paper Timmy’s working with shows no sign of a cut. This could be because it’s now as limp as a used kleenex, what with all the times it’s been folded within the scissor’s grip. Folded, crimped, bent and crumpled. Over and over and over again… but not a single cut. Not even a tear, though, if he keeps persisting, I’m pretty sure the paper will shortly fade into sawdust, eroded away through sheerest willpower.

Once again we do the hand-over-hand, my hand guiding his. But cutting paper’s a complicated business, a matter of precision and timing, and Timmy is just not quite there.

“It’s not the scissors, sweetie. Cutting is just a bit tricky for you right now. You’ll get it in time.”

“Here. He can try MY scissors.” Emily holds hers out. Because hers, you see, work just fine, as the fringe along the side of her paper attests. The fringe and the snowfall of paper bits on the table, floor, and bench. And in her lap, and in Nissa’s hair. And the fruit bowl and the potted plant…

We all know it’s not the scissors, but I’m not about to discourage generosity when it happens.

They trade, Timmy’s blue Crayola safety scissors for Emily’s green-and-yellow Grand and Toy number with the millimetres marked on one blade.


“Hey! Look! I cutted! These ones work!” Timmy is astounded and delighted. Sure enough, there is a short but undeniable cut in the edge of the paper.

And, from Emily…

“Mary, these scissors don’t work!”



July 21, 2009 - Posted by | crafts, Emily, Timmy | , , , , , ,


  1. Hehehe, what a great post.

    Nothing like a toddler reality check to keep us adults in our place.


    Working with toddlers is why I am the sensible, balanced woman I am. It also explains the twitch in my right eye which comes and goes…

    Comment by Zayna | July 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. I learned to cut with surgeons’ sharps-and-blunts (my dad was an ER nurse). Going to kindergarten and being handed a pair of wiggly cheap safety scissors made of something akin to aluminum foil was no picnic. Sometimes…it is the scissors.

    I think you’re right. As the children proved to me this day!

    Comment by Bridgett | July 21, 2009 | Reply

  3. Fiskars makes all sorts of good kids’ scissors and has good proces. I’ve been less than thrilled with Crayola lately. They keep expanding the product line but the quality isn’t keeping up.

    In fact, I’m not so keen on Crayola these days, either, and when your A+ scissor-handler can’t manage them, it probably is the scissors! Oh, and thanks for the link. I’ll check it out.

    Comment by jwg | July 21, 2009 | Reply

  4. […] these the cutest little scissors? Bet they’d be perfect for the tots! (Way better than those useless Crayolas, ugh.) Oh, and my thread collection has a couple of holes, […]

    Pingback by Newest project « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | May 9, 2011 | Reply

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